About two months ago I was standing on a church platform with another minister delivering words of knowledge related to healing during a conference. After the session a number of different people approached me to let me know the words that I and the minister in charge of the event had given were accurate, and some of them received healing when we spoke without ever calling them up or laying hands on them. One gentleman came to me after the session as well, but with a different request—he wanted more words of knowledge.
I had already given him one during the session, and that word instructed him to stop seeking physical healing because his physical maladies were from unhealed emotions. (For more on the emotional roots of physical disease, read 5 Steps to Emotional Healing and The Weight of Sorrows) In and of itself it was fine that he wanted more, but the problem wasn’t just that he wanted a prophetic word—he specifically wanted more words of knowledge.
For those who are unfamiliar with it, the word of knowledge is one of the gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12, and this particular gift involves receiving divine revelation of factual information about a person, place, or thing. The more spectacular examples are calling out people’s phone or social security numbers, license plates, or other factual data that connected to a specific individual whom you didn’t know to begin with. Certainly there are some fakers who gather information in advance and/or use a planted audience member, but if the gift is used it involves receiving knowledge by divine revelation. It is commonly used in healing ministry because getting words of knowledge about physical conditions the audience members have raises their faith and allows you to join in with what God is doing at the time. There are other applications for this gift. For example, we use this gift a lot in our house when we lose things.
The problem is when the word of knowledge becomes something used for show or external validation when in reality it serves no real purpose whatsoever. This individual who approached me after the meeting wanted more words of knowledge, and at first I let him know he had a problem with his right shoulder (which he did), but he then asked for me to tell him the other 13 places in his body where he was having problems. That’s where I stopped him and challenged him on something. He knew where his problems were, and God knew as well. The only difference is that I didn’t know, but he could have listed them for me then and there instead of playing some strange prophecy-game with me, trying to see if I could ferret them out. At the end of the day this would have been utterly pointless because again, I was using the word of knowledge to tell him things he already knew.
We had a lengthy discussion afterward, but what struck me was how silly this aspect of this encounter was, and it made me realize that we still need to learn and grow in maturity in this area. I love spiritual gifts, and greatly enjoy using them, but there is a time and place for everything, and sometimes it’s just not necessary. We all like to know that God is thinking of us, and sometimes giving someone a word of knowledge gives a divine reminder that God is watching over them, but we can also take it to an unhealthy extreme, such as in the above situation.
The word of knowledge is a wonderful gift, but it needs to be used wisely and appropriately. Finding lost belongings, getting revelation on a forgotten password, or even receiving downloads about prayer needs, injuries to be healed, and more are all helpful ways we can make use of this gift. It can help us to see into the hearts of others, and if we use it wisely then we can take those opportunities to minister God’s love to one another. I encourage you to look at ways you can make use of this gift in your own life, then work on practicing with it until it becomes comfortable and useful on a regular basis. This gift is a valuable tool in the spiritual arsenal of life, which is why God provided it for us. Blessings!